Ellen R. TiseDear Colleagues

The library symposium/presidential meeting 2010, which took place 18 and 19 February in Stellenbosch South Africa, exceeded my expectations by far. It is no doubt a personal highlight of my presidency to date. The gathering of such esteemed colleagues and speakers from Africa and other parts of the world was indeed an honour and historic event for Stellenbosch University, South African and other African colleagues. Overall, I think we have achieved our objective, namely to highlight in concrete ways that libraries are critical contributors and partners in the knowledge economy.

SU Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Russel Botman, Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, and myself

SU Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Russel Botman, Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, and myself

In addition, it was emphasized that librarians should stake their claim as key drivers to access to knowledge, underpinning significantly the knowledge economy. It was a very productive meeting indeed and I’m very pleased with the outcome and positive feedback received from many attendees. During the Symposium the Goethe-Institut conducted an interview with me concerning my Presidency.

Participants on first day of presentations

Participants on first day of presentations

The Symposium provided the opportunity for the Africa Section and Management of Library Associations Section to hold their mid-term meetings in Stellenbosch, and host a workshop on ‘Library Associations Driving Access to Knowledge: models, management and advocacy’.

Advocacy News

During 2009, IFLA language centres around the world have been busy with a major translation project. Using funds provided by the Swedish International Co-operation and Development Agency (Sida), IFLA’s FAIFE Committee has co-ordinated translations of the following policy documents and training manuals:

  • The IFLA Internet Manifesto
  • The IFLA Internet Manifesto Guidelines
  • The IFLA Internet Manifesto Workshop Manual (and PowerPoint slides)
  • Access to HIV/AIDS Information through Libraries Workshop Manual (and PowerPoint slides)
  • The IFLA Manifesto on Transparency, Good Governance and Freedom from Corruption
  • The Libraries and Transparency, Good Governance and Freedom from Corruption Workshop Manual (and PowerPoint slides)

The translations are a major achievement for IFLA and could not have been completed without the hard work of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the language centres in Russia, Egypt and Senegal, along with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). All of the original documents have been redesigned in a PDF format, and are available to download for free from the IFLA website. For more information and access to the materials, please click here.

IFLA/FAIFE Workshop facilitators (Paul Sturges, Marta Terry and Shane Godbolt) and KEN-AHILA members visit Oloishobor Dispensary, Ngong District, Kenya during the pilot workshop on Public Access to Health Information Through Libraries

IFLA/FAIFE Workshop facilitators (Paul Sturges, Marta Terry and Shane Godbolt) and KEN-AHILA members visit Oloishobor Dispensary, Ngong District, Kenya during the pilot workshop on ‘Public Access to Health Information Through Libraries’

I am pleased to announce the launch of learning materials for workshops on Public Access to Health Information through Libraries. The materials have been developed by FAIFE in cooperation with many partners including IFLA Health and Biosciences Section; Phi (Partnerships in Health Information); a working group of Cuban librarians under the leadership of Professor Marta Terry; and East African chapters of AHILA (The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa.)

The idea for a Public Access to Health Information programme was first discussed at a meeting called by FAIFE at IFLA Headquarters in The Hague in October 2008, which drew up a specification for the materials. The first draft of the Learning Materials was created in Cuba in the first half of 2009. Pilot Workshops were held in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Jimma (Ethiopia) in August 2009. The final version was completed on the basis of the lessons learned from the pilots in December 2009. These learning materials will now form part of the suite of training workshops available through the Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) training programme or the small projects funded through IFLA’s ALP programme.

For more information, and to download the learning materials in PowerPoint and PDF format, please click here.

IT Working Group

Members of the IT Working Group visit DOK Delft

Members of the IT Working Group visit DOK Delft

A successful meeting on the ways ICT can support IFLA’s activities was held from February 8-12 at IFLA Headquarters. Through a range of ICT projects, IFLA aims to extend its reach to the world to enhance the IFLA Congress experience, deliver eLearning, engage new professionals, and provide research and reference tools. Participants were invited from Egypt, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and South Africa together with staff from IFLA Headquarters.

During the week, participants shared their expertise to further the development of Congress communications, the World Report and Success Stories Database, and the online platform that will be developed to support the Building Strong Library Associations programme. The ways that ICT can help to engage members, including new professionals, was a key focus of the meeting and participants discussed many ways that IFLA could foster interaction and communication amongst professionals around the world online. The IFLA New Professionals SIG convenor, Sebastian Wilke, has blogged a report of the meeting.

Nordic Conference on Libraries and Copyright

On February 1st and 2nd the IFLA Senior Policy Advisor and members of IFLA’s Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) Committee participated in a two-day conference on copyright in the digital age, held in the library at Oslo University, Norway. Participants heard papers and debated topics that included the global context of copyright, the situation at a European level, the Google Books Settlement and challenges associated with digital libraries. Further information (in Norwegian, with presentations in English) can be found here.

CLM Mid-term Meeting

On February 4th and 5th IFLA’s CLM Committee held its first mid-term meeting at IFLA HQ in The Hague. The first part of the meeting was held jointly with the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) Expert Group on Information Law. The meeting discussed IFLA’s continuing work on copyright limitations and exceptions at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, and other pressing topics for the international library community, such as the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). During January and February many IFLA members will have received notification from CLM of a WIPO consultation process on copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and some will have contacted their national copyright offices as a result. If you would like to know more about this consultation process, and how important it is that libraries play a role in it, please contact the IFLA Senior Policy Advisor Stuart Hamilton.

Strategic Partnership news

Governing Board member Danielle Mincio is leading planning and development of IFLA’s participation in a strategy for cultural recovery assistance in Haiti, in consultation with our colleagues in Haiti, and potential partners. Two meetings of the Blue Shield have been held in Paris and an announcement of the plans is expected in late March.

The OCLC EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) Regional Council Meeting took place in Leiden, the Netherlands, 24-25 February 2010. An interesting programme was presented and the results were announced of the elections for Delegates to represent OCLC EMEA at OCLC’s Global Council.

Upcoming events

Before going to Stellenbosch, IFLA Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson, visited the University of South Africa in Pretoria, the host of our Africa Regional Office. I would like to close with a poem written by Natalia Molebatsi, our colleague from the University of South Africa to celebrate the work of the IFLA Africa Regional Office, and African librarianship.

Ode to night

They say these attempts might
Be a beautiful poem
lapped by the night muse
on cloud and smoke and deeds who dissolve the wind’s breath
shake all that fear, and deed who straddle the glory for pulling through
the soothing of any journey’s thirst

They say only the night, mind of calendar of our days
can silence the violent storms we thought were winds of change
deep heavy floods we hoped would be feeding rains will pass us on
to another ride and unexpected turns on this journey
of life and death and all the bits in between
they say another dawn is born to bind us to the bosom of the wind
where we are written and found to rise beyond any blues for clues and for hues
sometimes distant at the edges of seek and reach
but only this breath can taste what it takes to mould and hold this dream.
So seek for the energy that will not be hushed or crushed
Seek for the energy that is engraved behind the clenched fires of the unborn
So that just that when another
Dawn ascends and our words no longer recognize us
We will remember to say “it started with us”

Gothenburg 2010 logo
Ellen Tise
IFLA President 2009-2011


19 March 2010

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